Messages To America


I have in two recent, successive messages, cabled to your Assembly, giving expression, as far as it lay in my power, to the feelings of overpowering gratitude which the response of so many pioneers to the call of teaching has evoked in my heart. I have moreover felt impelled to convey my congratulations to the members of your Assembly who, through their resource, unity and singlemindedness, have lent so needed and timely an impetus to the mighty work associated with the second year of the Seven Year Plan. There can be no doubt whatever that what the American believers, no less than their elected National representatives, have accomplished, the long and assiduous care of the former and the potent methods employed by the latter, have witnessed to the uprising of a new spirit on which the defamers of the Cause may well pause to reflect, and from which its lovers cannot but derive deep joy and solace. I again wish to thank with all my soul those whose acts have stirred the imagination of friend and foe alike.

In my desire not to omit anything that might help to spur on or reinforce the community of the American believers as they move on to their destiny, I feel it necessary to add a word of warning in connection with the work that has been so splendidly begun lest it should be jeopardized or frustrated. The initial phase of the teaching work operating under the Seven Year Plan has at long last been concluded. They who have pushed it forward have withstood the test gloriously. By their acts, whether as teachers or administrators, they have written a glorious page in the struggle for the laying of a continent-wide foundation for the Administrative Order of their Faith. At this advanced stage in the fulfilment of the purpose to which they have set their hand there can be no turning back, no halting, no respite. To launch the bark of the Faith, to implant its banner, is not enough. Support, ample, organized and unremitting, should be lent, designed to direct the course of that work and to lay an unassailable foundation for the fort destined to stand guard over that banner.

The National Spiritual Assembly, the National Teaching Committee, the Regional and local teaching committees, no less than the itinerant teachers, should utilize every possible means calculated to fan the zeal, enrich the resources and insure the solidity and permanency of the work, of those who, actuated by so laudable and shining a spirit of self-sacrifice, have arisen to face the hazards and perils of so holy and historic an adventure. Indeed every believer, however humble and inexperienced, should sense the obligation to play his or her part in a mission that involves so very deeply the destinies not only of the American Bahá'í community but of the nation itself.

Whether through the frequency of their visits, the warmth of their correspondence, the liberality of their support, the wisdom of their counsels, the choice of the literature placed at the disposal of the pioneers, the members of the community should, at this hour when the sands of a moribund civilization are inexorably running out, and at a time when they are preparing themselves to launch yet another stage in their teaching activities, insure the security and provide for the steady expansion, of the work initiated in those territories so recently set alight from the torch of an inextinguishable Faith.

This is my plea, my supreme entreaty.
April 17, 1939

Messages To America
pages 19-20

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